475 [of 480] leaves, lacking 5 blanks only (12 1/8 x 8 3/8 in.; 310 x 212 mm). Text complete. Bound in five parts. collation: [Part I], (*)3 (of 4, lacking initial blank), 1-88, (9)1(of 2, lacking final blank), (**)5 (of 6,lacking final blank); [Part II] 1-88, 96); [Part III] (***)7(of 8, lacking initial blank), 110, 2-228, 237 (of 8, lacking final blank); [Part IV], (****)6, 1-108, 116, 124; [Part V], (*****)8, 1-48, 54. Part I, quire (*) and Part V, quire 4, misbound. Quire (**), which in most collations appears as the initial quire of Part II, is present here as the final quire in Part I. Thus, in the present lot, Part I=73 leaves, Part II= 70 leaves; Part III= 192 leaves; Part IV= 96 leaves, Part V= 44 leaves, for a total of 475 leaves. Of the six blanks called for, Part V, quire (*****).1 is present. Soiled and stained. A few leaves disbound, several remargined, and several others strengthened at gutter; losses to some leaves, some with tape repairs, though only rarely affecting text. Latin and Hebrew marginalia in all parts as well as library stamp of Bet Midrash de-Ashkenazim be-Amsterdam, Etz Hayyim. Explanatory diagram relating to shapes of bones, printed along inner margin in Part I, f. 12r. Variously bound.
the first medical book printed in hebrew
This monumental encyclopedia of medicine was written in the 11th century by the Moslem physician and philosopher, Abu 'Ali al-Husain ibn Sina (Avicenna in Latin, 980-1037). The work is divided into five books and includes an in-depth overview of the human body, the causes and treatments of diseases and pharmacology. Nathan ha-Meati translated books 2-5 into Hebrew in 1279; book 1 was translated by Joseph Lorki in 1408. The present volume is the first and only edition printed in Hebrew. Volume 1, folio 12r features an explanatory drawing depicting the shapes of bones.
In 1487, Joseph Gunzenhauser pioneered the first Hebrew press in Naples. Over the course of the next five years, he and his son Azriel published 13 books. The Kanon Ha-Gadol, a compendium of medical knowledge, is without doubt one of the most outstanding contributions to the history of Hebrew printing.
Provenance: Bet Midrash de-Ashkenazim be-Amsterdam, Etz Hayyim--their stamp in several places.
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